The Road to Blogging

 

Here’s the piece that started it all …

… sort of.  My road to blogging was driven by a need to have a way to post this piece that I’d written, which was published in the October 2012 issue of The Lutheran.  Of course, there is a backstory to this … a story that started just about a year ago.

In January 2012, one of my pastor-friends on Facebook shared an essay by Bishop Michael Rinehart of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod.  I read it and was moved by what the good bishop had to say, so I shared it on Facebook as well.  Then that same piece appeared in the February issue of The Lutheran.  I was delighted that this important perspective was getting such a wide audience.  (I still recommend reading it and here’s a link to Bishop Rinehart’s article:    http://http://tlgcconnections.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/insiders-and-outsiders/)

But my hopes that this might prompt a forward-looking discussion in the wider ELCA were quickly disappointed.  There were letters arguing that insiders matter, too … articles cautioning against “throwing the baby out with the bathwater by jettisoning our heritage” … yet another go ‘round on the contemporary vs. traditional “worship wars.”  All of this was completely aside from what Bishop Rinehart was saying: that the future of the church depends on learning to care about those who are outside of the congregation – and orienting everything we do towards them – instead of taking care of those who are already members.

I was frustrated that people didn’t seem to be getting it.  So I fired up my computer and wrote a response that I submitted for consideration for the monthly “My View” feature in the magazine.  First, I heard it was being considered; then, a few weeks later, I was told it would be published.  Shortly after that, I found myself face-to-face with Bishop Rinehart at the Multi-Cultural Youth Leadership Event prior to the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans.  I thanked him for what he wrote and told him that my response would be in the October issue of The Lutheran.  He asked me to email him a link to when it appeared … which I did.  But most of what I wrote was behind the subscription wall … and now, months later, the entire issue is behind the wall.

So I needed a place where I could post it … a place where it would be more accessible.  I’d been thinking about blogging for years.  A number of people have complimented my writing.  I’m working on a book, so I need to “get my name out there.”  So why not?  It took some time to find possible host sites … think of a name that would be unique and frame my ideas … find the time to actually DO the work of setting up the site.  But here it is (at long last).  So I begin with The Piece that Started It All (in its original, unedited version).

About the writer …

I’m a wife, a mom, a working woman … a preacher, teacher, and student … an ordained pastor and a Certified Information & Referral Specialist.  Through it all weaves the theme that runs through the blog: a practicing disciple of Jesus … “practicing” because I’m still a work in progress.

 

I currently make my home in Saint Paul, Minnesota with my husband, our two teenagers, two cats, and a dog.  My roots go back to northeastern Indiana where I was born and grew up.  I went to college at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM.  Since my graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, I’ve lived in Texas, Florida, and Arizona before moving to Minnesota where I attended Luther Seminary.  After earning my Master of Divinity degree, I took my first call to a congregation in Kansas.  Now I’m back in Minnesota, thanks to my husband’s career, and looking for a call to a congregation … along with many, many other clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

 

In the meantime, I raise my kids, walk the dog, keep up the house, work with other clergy, and provide information and referral services to people looking for help (which is a lot like helping lost souls find a way to go …).  Somehow it all fits together; sometimes, it actually makes sense.

Why There MAY BE GOOSE FEATHERS…

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 Why There May Be Goose Feathers…

This title comes about from two sources.

First, there’s my habit of thinking on things while walking Jack the Dog.  I pick up thoughts, ideas, and sometimes items I find along the way.  Some of it is interesting … leaves, nuts or other seeds, rocks, pieces of bark, and – yes, even feathers.  Some of it is not all that interesting …trash and, well, I’m walking a dog so you can figure out what I pick up a lot of.  Like things collected along a walk, there may be interesting bits here and there … and there may well be some trash and, uh, you know.

But, secondly, and perhaps even more to the title of this blog, I have a great affinity for the old Celtic association of the Wild Goose and the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes my life feels a lot like a wild goose chase!  What’s going on here?  What am I doing here?  What should I be doing in this?  Where do I go from here?  As I pick up stray ideas and things along the way and think things over, I am (in a sense) looking for signs of the Wild Goose.

After all, you can’t call a wild goose to come.  You can’t predict where or when it will show up.  All you can do is listen for its call and try to follow the path of its flight.  You might catch it at rest here or there, swimming in the water … resting on a shore or bank.  But a glimpse is all you get before it flies off again.  But, perhaps with careful watching, you might catch signs of its passage … something that suggests the Wild Goose has been here.

So I’m looking at things, mulling over events of my life in this world, pondering some common questions, and looking for some trace of guidance … some sense of place or purpose in all of this.  Sometimes these postings may be nothing more than my take on the moment.  Sometimes there might be real ponderings of calling and purpose and where is God in all of this.  Some of it might be insightful; some of it might be more of the other sorts of things I pick up.  But sometimes, perhaps, here and there, every now and then, there might be a goose feather or two.

You just never know, there may be goose feathers …